Out With The Old and In With the New.
For Lilac and KatyKat...and also for myself, because I think a little fluff is needed right now :)
"So," came a familiar voice from behind him; his lips twitched. "What is it with you resorting to hiding in your office when the bullpen happens to be full of decent alcohol, and people who - don't try and deny it - you actually like, hmm?"
He smirked at that. Quickly skimming his eyes across the sparkling skyline, he debated over the best response.
"I will have you know Ms. McHale that the Champagne is a good hundred bucks a bottle. That's pretty damn good alcohol.'
Feeling a warmth pooling in his stomach, he turned around to find her leaning easily against his desk, a glass of the aforementioned champagne resting in a rather relaxed manner in the grip of her hand, which crossed across her folded arms resting just under her cleavage...which he had to admit was being displayed in an extremely positive way thanks to the wonderful ocean blue number that she had chosen for the evening.
Her face looked pleasantly flushed, the telltale signs of someone who has been merrymaking and enjoying herself for the last few hours; pupils wide and reflecting the dim light, a happy smile revealing how much she was enjoying this particular moment.
What excited him even more was that he could honestly say that if he had a mirror in front of him right now, he knew the same things would be reflected in his own posture and expression. A vast improvement on last year, he thought, smiling inwardly to himself.
She raised her glass to him. "I stand corrected, Mr. McAvoy." She took a healthy sip of from the remainder of her champagne, "I can personally confirm that this is damn good alcohol."
"Well, I could have only the best for our team." Walking slightly forward so that he could chink his glass with hers, he too, took a sip, loving the way her smile had turned into a grin and her eyes beamed at him at his use of "our".
"It's like you're a new person compared to how you were this time last year."
She said it softly, but it was the easy smile and warmth in her eyes that assured him she wasn't saying it with any intention of malice or accusation; she was thanking him in a way, for coming back to her.
Sitting himself adjacent to her on his desk, he boldly (and very probably fueled by alcohol) allowed his index finger to trail from her left shoulder down to her hand, where he hooked his finger around one of hers.
"Not a new person, just my old self." Love was bursting from him as he took note of the gorgeous pink blush spreading across her neck and onto her clavicle, just noticeable on her already coloured cheeks.
"Well, it's nice to have the old self back."
He loved that trademark smile she had where she somehow managed to smile whilst worrying her bottom lip with her teeth, like she was constantly up to something mischievous. He squeezed her finger in his.
"It's rather nice to back too." He grinned back.
A comfortable silence feel between them as they both processed this new 'moment' - one of many that they had been having recently, and which they both knew were definitely leading to something exciting.
"I just came to say goodnight."
The warmth seeped out of him a little, sad that she was leaving, but again, her eyes offered reassurance and hope to the now faint voice of insecurity that occasionally popped into his head. She too looked saddened to be leaving, but he could see the weariness in her eyes. She had done well to stay this long.
Mac had started to feel ill over the weekend, and he hadn't been able to persuade her not to come into work on Monday - it was Mackenzie they were talking about. But she had managed to stay regardless. It was now coming on for half past one. The bouncy atmosphere was dying down as the younger staffers got in a little respite before they continued with their planned party back at Neal's apartment (they were making the most of the booze Will had provided for them here).
Charlie had left about half an hour before, his wife tired and needing to get home. But Will was glad Mac had stayed. It had felt somehow important for them to be together tonight. Almost like a kind of exorcism: they could see out this old, trouble and hurt-ridden year together and see in the new one; a blank canvas which they both hoped they could fill with a far brighter and more hopeful picture than they had managed to paint the year before.
"You feeling any better?"
She smiled at his concern, silently curling her remaining four fingers around his and taking the space next to him on the desk.
"A little. Tired though. But the champagne seems to have numbed the headache."
"Uh...I think postponed it would be nearer the mark." He teased. She groaned, full of self-pity as she gently slumped into him and rested her head on his shoulder, glaring he presumed - although he now couldn't see her face - at the almost empty glass of champagne in her hand.
Not questioning her movement, not wanting to ruin the moment, he rested his chin on the top of her head, and waited for her to say something else. She didn't, however. For the next few minutes he just allowed himself to enjoy her warmth next to him, and the pleasant smell of her perfume dulling his senses. Then he realised that she was starting to drift off.
Nudging her carefully with his shoulder he softly called her name. She merely mumbled something indistinguishable, making him laugh a little.
As comfortable as he was having her there, he knew she needed to go home and sleep both her illness and her hangover off.
Gently pulling the champagne glass from her fingers, he placed both it and his own on the desk behind them, and gently put his hands under her upper arms to get her standing straight.
Her half-closed eyes blinked groggily as though he had just turned on the light in a darkened room and startled her. She looked adorable. He would have been quite content to pull her back into his arms and have her stay there for...well, forever. Sadly, we can't always get what we want.
"Come on Mackenzie. Time for bed, sleepyhead." She smiled sleepily at him and she held out her heavy arms as Will grabbed her coat from one of the chairs round his little coffee table and threaded her arms through the sleeves. She genuinely appeared as though she might fall asleep on her feet as he pulled the coat around her and began doing the buttons.
"There's a taxi downstairs." she said in a slightly slurred manner. He nodded at her, doing the last button before fixing on of the lapels which was squinty. She gratefully flashed him that lazy, relaxed smile that he so adored and he instantly returned it.
"Thanks Will." She said quietly.
"Anytime." He replied simply, sincerely, as his hand moved from her lapel to her cheek, pushing some hair that had fallen out of her elegant knot behind her ear. It was barely noticeable, but she had leaned into his touch. It made his heart race.
Turning to reach for her purse on the chair behind him, he handed it to her, wishing that she wasn't leaving. She took it, looked absolutely ready to go home.
"You're not leaving 'til they've gone right?" A sudden, more alert expression flashed across her face momentarily as she caught sight of her young staff outside the glass office door.
He grinned. "I heard Maggie say just before I came in here that they were getting ready to move out. I'll make sure they get in taxis."
She beamed, because of him, he knew, but she was carefully looking over every member of their little crew, a glint of pride also in her eyes. "Told you you'd want to keep them." His grin widened and he squeezed her sides teasingly to bring her attention back to him. The trademark mischievous smile was back.
"Yes you did. You are pretty smart."
"Smarter than you?"
"When you want to be." She sent him a look of mock outrage and he chuckled. "Neal told me about the trolls Mac. You can't hide from me."
She rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. Hitting him playfully on the shoulder she shot him one last smile, and then attempted to extract herself from him. "Before you start enlisting people to help point out the gaps in my cultural knowledge, I'm out of here. Happy New Year, Will."
He caught her around the waist before she was out of his reach entirely. She turned with a mildly surprised look on her face. A moment, and then,
"Happy New Year, Kenz."
It was the name that did it, that flicked a switch somewhere. Their eyes had already met so they could see the transformation in each other's gaze that let them know that they each knew and accepted what was about to happen.
His eyes not leaving hers, hyper-aware of her every movement as her hand came to rest of the forearm attached to the right hand resting on her waist, he closed the floorspace between them, pausing to allow her to stop him coming any closer if she wanted to.
But there was a mixture of wonder and hope in her eyes as they flickered from his, to his lips, and then back again, apparently disbelieving that this was happening. Just as his lips were about to touch hers he paused, causing a slight whimper to leave hers; he was close enough that she could feel the outline of his smirk on her skin.
"Two hours too late, but I really wanted you all to myself for this...forgive me?." Her grip on his arm tightened.
"Get a little closer and all its forgotten."
His lips met hers in the gentlest of kisses.
She had always imagined this moment as being in the heat of one of their crazy arguments: passionate and fiery; but this was slow, and loving and reverential. She melted on the spot, somehow how managing to move her arms up around his shoulders, clasping at the back of his neck to hold him to her. She really didn't need to though; he was perfectly happy right where he was.
It was brief and sweet - more of a promise - but her eyes were crinkled with happiness as they moved slightly apart, his forehead resting against hers. She really didn't want to move again, now with his arms wrapped around her, enveloping her, the warmth of his hands at the small of her back and his nose brushing hers whenever he breathed out.
But her phone beeped.
"Someone's looking for you." he said softly.
"Taxi." She mumbled, sounding less than pleased with it. He laughed again.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Kenz." He reassured her. Her eyes met his again, that name - that oh so wonderful nickname - causing the light to reignite behind her eyes. Before he could even blink, her lips were on his again, pressing more firmly against him than before. He returned it, tightening his hold on her before pulling away again. "I mean it, you'll see me tomorrow. Now go get in that taxi before I have to worry about you getting home safely as well.'
He rubbed his hand gently up and down her spine, comfortingly. He knew what she was feeling - that feeling like you just don't want to leave the other person's presence because it feels to cosy and safe; and as much as he would have liked to spend the first night of 2013 with her in his arms, this was still fragile, and they were tispy and she was ill, and this was a new start all over again. He didn't want to push them.
"I'm bringing you breakfast. Or brunch, if you prefer. To make sure you're still in the land of the living and stuff."
"Yeah? Brunch sounds good." She said quietly, a smile playing on her lips as she noticed the twinkle in his eyes.
"Then brunch you shall have. Now moosh." She laughed, and it was music to his ears.
Pressing a last kiss to her forehead, he leaned his weight back against the desk as he watched her head out the door, shooting a last smile back at him before she worked her way through the dwindling crowd to the elevators.
As he sat there, wrapped in a visual replay of the last ten minutes, his phone buzzed in his pocket. Mac had texted him.
About freaking time! ;) x
He grinned at it, knowing she would somehow know the expression that this would create on his face.
It was worth the wait :) xx
He started planning what he was going to take her for brunch. Ten hours until lunchtime.